- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 23, 2009

NEW YORK — President Obama plans to take a tough line with the rest of the world for at least part of his first speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday morning.

According to a portion of the speech released early by the White House, the president will tell the world’s leaders that solving the globe’s problem’s “cannot be solely Americas endeavor.”

“Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the worlds problems alone. We have sought — in word and deed — a new era of engagement with the world. Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges,” Mr. Obama will say.

“If we are honest with ourselves, we need to admit that we are not living up to that responsibility,” he’ll tell the other leaders.

It is part of a foreign policy strategy that has drawn rave reviews from some and harsh criticism from others, predicated on the broad notion of a near-total reversal of the Bush-era mindset.

Going back to his first trip abroad, Mr. Obama has sought to own up to American failings while also calling on other countries to do the same and to join him in working together.

However, he has yet to gain any clear-cut wins, concessions or compromises from allies or competitors, and his critics have said he is weakening U.S. global power by apologizing for America.

Russia and China are refusing to move forward with new sanctions on Iran, Israel is not caving to U.S. demands on the details of a settlement freeze, Arab states with longtime U.S. ties such as Saudia Arabia are unwilling to normalize ties with Israel, and European nations have responded unenthusiastically to calls from the new U.S. president to send more troops to Afghanistan.

In his speech at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Mr. Obama will tick off a list of the world’s biggest problems: “Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world, protracted conflicts that grind on and on, genocide and mass atrocities, more and more nations with nuclear weapons, melting ice caps and ravaged populations, persistent poverty and pandemic disease.”

“I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: The magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our action,” he will say.

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